Pre-story notes: All One Piece characters, places, situations, et cetera are property of Eiichiro Oda (and to a less extent his publishers). This story is M rated for adult language and adult content. This story does take place after the Whitebeard war, so if you aren't that far and don't care for spoilers, then obviously don't read.


Red-Tailed Hawk

Creaks and footsteps sounded under Shanks as he mounted his ship. The Red Force rocked gently on the ocean, as if to soothe its weary captain. Behind him on the accommodation ladder was the rest of his crew, each of them respectfully subdued. The red-haired man let a hard grin cross his face: that wouldn't last too long after they left port.

As he reached the deck of his ship, the captain turned to gaze over the spring island they were about to leave. There were flowers of all varieties growing everywhere, creating a jungle of downy petals. As far as the eye could see in all directions were blades of every shape and size, planted among the foliage. In the middle rose the patriarch: a massive spear decorated by a giant's cloak and a black pirate's flag snapping in the breeze. For a moment, Shanks reflected upon the last few days—it had been back breaking work, but he couldn't allow any of Whitebeard's remaining children to injure themselves further by digging the old man's grave.

Benn appeared besides Shanks as the captain leaned on the banister, lost in thought.

"We ready t' shove off then, cap'n?" the first mate asked, a fresh cigarette in his mouth. The red-haired man mentally shook off the dour thoughts and grinned at Beckman.

"Aye, let's head out. And on our way, why don't we give 'em all a proper sending off?"

First mate and captain shared a mischievous grin.

"Oy," Benn called to the rest of the crew, "Bust out the grog! We're shovin' Whitebeard and his sons off proper."

The grim atmosphere was cast aside like a coat in summer, and each crewman aboard the ship was hasty to comply with Beckman's order. The accommodation ladder was lifted and stored while casks were hoisted up out of the hold. Within half an hour, the Red Force was heading out to sea, and aboard her deck was a party. Howls, hoots, and roars filled the air, and back among the graves even Marco could hear the Red Hair crew.

Shanks settled himself against the foremost mast—one of his favorite spots aboard the ship. On the deck below a table had been dragged out of the galley to enjoy the fair weather. The crew was scattered about, sitting on anything from the deck to the barrels of alcohol. The captain watched, smiling as he caught snatches of dirty shanties sung and heard barks of laughter. He was tapping his foot along with someone else's clapping, his head back against the mast and eyes closed.

The graveyard they were leaving had full command of his mind, though. Despite the island being so full of flowers, the stench of death had seeped through the perfume, working its way into Shank's lungs and permeating his body. It wasn't as though he was completely unused to it, being a pirate, but to see so many men who were so young really bothered him.

Shanks wondered what would happen if he were to die. In Roger's wake, a whole new era had been ushered in, giving so many people a life to shoot for. For Whitebeard, there was bound to be chaos, considering the man protected towns and islands all over the world. The thought of what would happen if he were removed from the picture disturbed him. He felt it was a little selfish to think as many people relied upon him. But they did.

With a shake of his head, Shanks dragged himself out from under his depressing thoughts. He looked out over his men, who partied on without a care. The lone pirate grinned, but the smile was removed from his truest feelings.

"Damn bastards would be fine without me," he muttered to himself, groaning as he hoisted himself up to go join the party. Somewhere in the back of his mind, however, was a snag. The alcohol wasn't quite as refreshing, nor the songs quite so reminiscent, nor even the food quite so fulfilling. Though he sailed away from it, something of the Whitebeard graveyard had attached to Shanks' soul like a tick.

The Red Hair crew partied late into the night. They barely acknowledged twilight's passing, since the full moon threw her light over the deck like a sheer nightgown. One by one, the men were lulled to sleep by the rocking of the waves and the food in their stomachs, with the last of them falling asleep sometime before sunrise.

As the sun rose, Shanks rose with it, a splitting headache cursing him for drinking the night before. He stumbled into the galley, making a beeline from the fridge and passing Benn, who was already awake.

"You're killing a hangover with more booze?" Beckman asked as his captain plopped on a keg. Shanks nodded and took a deep pull of the liquid before staring at it. His dreams had been filled with death, with his own doom being the most gruesome of them all. For a moment, he only swirled the alcohol around, feeling the shifting weight of the liquid as he thought.

Finally, Shanks declared, "I need a pick-me-up."

The first mate leaned against the counter on the opposite side of the room, took a bite of his sandwich and gave his captain a questioning glance. Once he had cleared his mouth of the food, Benn asked, "What kind of 'pick-me-up'?"

Again, Shanks left off swishing his drink around, staring at its movement. Nothing was said, and the only sound was the occasional creak of the ship. Without warning, the red-haired man shot up, his face so bright with epiphany it was blinding.

"I'll go pay my fledgling a visit!"

Shanks surged out the door, letting it swing shut like a pendulum. He dashed into his quarters, sifting through his small, bedside drawer quickly and withdrawing two small trinkets from it. Then he was out the door again, passing Benn and returning to the galley.

"Cap'n," Beckman asked as his captain shoveled supplies into a thick, canvas sack, "Are you sure it's a good idea to go an' bother Mihawk right now?"

"Of course it is," Shanks replied from the depths of the fridge. The first mate grimaced a little.

"If you say so," he muttered. With a flutter of his coat, the captain was out the door. He gave Benn a dismissive wave.

"It'll be fine," the red-haired man reassured with a grin. "Hawky's not gonna hurt me."

"He's not the one I'm worried about, cap'n."

Shanks burst out laughing as he strode towards the starboard side of the ship, glancing over to make sure the tiny sailboat was still there. With a low grunt, the captain hefted his sack of food into the small vessel before swinging in after it. He looked up to Beckman, who was leaning over the banister, watching him.

"You going to lower it?" Shanks asked. Benn sighed.

"Aye."

The red haired man grinned as the dinghy descended slowly towards the water.

"You gonna tell the others?"

"Aye, cap'n."

Gently, the tiny boat rocked on the waves, with its passenger and load safely aboard. The captain gave his first mate a mischievous look.

"You gonna drink all the booze?"

This time, Beckman returned the grin.

"Aye, aye."

Then Benn was gone.

From his coat the captain withdrew a small bauble. It looked like the bastard child of a compass and an hourglass, and the needle trapped within pointed doggedly to the southwest. Shanks set the sail, with the canvas snapping and puffing as it caught the wind, bearing the dinghy in the needle's direction.

The red-haired man settled comfortably against the sack of supplies, occasionally tweaking the sail to agree with his eternal pose. He sat haunted by macabre and morbid thoughts, drifting between dozing and wakefulness, and hoping his pounding headache would wear off soon.

Even though the island was little more than a speck on the horizon, Shanks recognized Kuraigana instantly. His food stores had dwindled over the past six days, and there had been a couple of terrible storms that had threatened to wipe the yonkou off the face of the planet; however, the captain was still in good health.

Something still bothered him, though: the overbearing shadow of death. As the red-haired man had been digging graves, he realized just how young many of them were. And then there was Ace. Shanks thought back to the day the young man had come to him, somewhat awkwardly, to thank the man who had inspired his little brother. The captain hoped Luffy was all right.

Just as the sun started to drop from its zenith, the dinghy thudded against a rotting pier. Nearby was a familiar ship—Mihawk's one-man vessel. Shanks grinned. That had been another worry that had eaten at him—would the shichibukai even be home? Swiftly, the red-haired man tied his boat to the dock, his nimble fingers making up for the fact that he was missing a hand. With thudding steps Shanks crossed to land, making a beeline for where Mihawk's castle was. That had always appealed to the yonkou's sense of humor—a man like Hawky wielded a behemoth of a weapon, lived in a castle, but still managed to have one of the largest dicks Shanks had ever seen.

The yonkou found himself strangely unimpeded as he traversed the island, passing between the sparse trees without so much as a rock thrown from a humandrill. Generally, they were all over him, treating him as one of their own. Certainly not the first time he had visited, but the red-haired man had a way with animals.

Quietly, Shanks came to a squat, half-rotted side door, which he opened easily and slipped inside. The dank air of the castle filled his nose, mouth and lungs, and with a slight smile on his face, the man ran his hand along the wall as he navigated the dark halls of the castle. After a while he finally came to the room he was searching for—the great dining hall. Just as he was about to shove the door open the sounds of voices stopped him. Instead, he put his ear to the door, listening to garbled echoes conversing.

One voice was definitely Mihawk—the low pitch and resounding timber were impossible for Shanks to miss. The second voice was female, higher pitched and pouting. It was a chittery voice, like some bird destined for a gilded cage. The yonkou raised a disbelieving eyebrow—of all the jokes he had made at Hawky's expense, the cracks about his love for 'swords' were the closest to true.

Then a third voice spoke up. It was masculine, though not overwhelmingly so, and not resoundingly deep. Despite the fact that Shanks could not hear the words this voice spoke, he knew the man behind it spoke with conviction. It was a determined sound, one the red-haired man never heard quite as much as he would like.

Again, Shanks prepared himself to open the door, but was stopped by a sound he rarely heard—Mihawk's laughter. He stepped back from the door in bewilderment, unable to move from genuine surprise—even he had trouble getting something so simple as a chuckle out of the shichibukai. Despite a burning curiosity to see who could draw the noise from Mihawk, Shanks turned and stalked down the halls towards the swordsman's room.

The door to Mihawk's sleeping quarters was locked like always. With a grin, the yonkou fished around in his pocket, withdrawing the silver skeleton key he had snatched from his quarters. A light click responded to Shanks' key, and the door swung wide before him.

Large bay windows allowed in as much of the afternoon light as they could, with heavy curtains held back by thick ropes on either side. Much of the floor was bare stone, and elaborate—though old—tapestries spanned the walls. Around the perimeter of the circular room were all manner of dressers, desks, wardrobes, tables, and chairs. In the middle of the room rose a dais littered with pillows, blankets and furs.

Shanks swaggered towards the dais, plopping his ass among the pillows and blankets before flopping onto his back. He had no idea how long Mihawk would take with his guests—especially the male—but something told him he wouldn't be waiting long.

Light from the windows reflected off of something and glimmered in Shanks' eye. With a groan he hauled himself back up into a sitting position as he gazed at the source of the reflected light. Kokuto Yoru hung proud above her master's door, the golden hilt and guards of the blade protruding from the black scabbard like an angel rising from the depths. Her pommel stone captured the light and tossed it aside, shedding a rainbow of blues and golds across the door.

As Shanks gazed at Yoru, the doorknob turned and halted, as if uncertain. Finally, the door leaped aside, revealing the shichibukai behind it. For a moment, silence prevailed. The men's eyes locked on each other, a conversation passing between the two without a word. Once they were done, Mihawk stepped inside, closing the door quietly behind himself.

"All I need is more unwanted guests," the shichibukai commented, advancing until he towered above the grinning yonkou. "Why are you here?"

"Aw, you sound like you're gonna throw me out," Shanks pouted playfully.

"That depends on your intentions."

"Are you gonna throw those other two out?"

Mihawk's eyebrows shot up.

"Why should it matter to you?"

The yonkou grinned and rose, standing eye to eye with the shichibukai.

"So you're not."

Annoyance overtook the swordsman's face. His golden eyes threatened the pirate lord before him, but Shanks could not be so easily deterred. Subconsciously, Mihawk glanced away, an old tell of submission. The yonkou's grin widened.

"Why is it every time I find my door unlocked there is some pest behind it?" the shichibukai asked the air, turning from the red-haired man and crossing to one of the dressers. From his neck he removed Kogatana, which he set gently upon the top of the dresser. Shanks snorted in laughter.

"C'mon, you don't mean that, Hawky. Besides, what makes you think you're the only stressed one around here?"

Mihawk turned to him and raised a questioning eyebrow.

"Oh, you're here to complain? That's new." He crossed the room again, passing the red-haired man standing on the edge of the dais and coming to a halt before his wardrobe. As he dug inside, he commented, "Generally, I find you drowning in alcohol."

Shanks burst out laughing.

"What other way is there to enjoy life?"

From the wardrobe, the swordsman removed a shirt and trousers, eying them before glancing at his 'guest'.

"What is it, Hawky?" Shanks asked, cocking his head to the side in curiosity. Mihawk sighed in annoyance.

"If you must know, I just had a student dropped into my lap."

"Oh?" The yonkou trotted over the shichibukai. "Is he the one that made you laugh?" Mihawk was silent. Shanks grinned. "He is! Ooooh, Hawky's got a crush!"

"Be quiet," he snapped.

"But you never even laugh like that for me," pouted Shanks. "And I know I make you feel good when I—"

"Silence," Mihawk barked. The red-haired man ceased speaking, putting his hands up to show he harbored no ill intent. For a moment, the shichibukai glared at Shanks before turning away and crossing to one of the many desks.

"Obviously," the red-haired man said once Mihawk was a safe distance away, "This person is special. Especially if he caught your eye. Am I wrong?"

The swordsman stopped in the middle of laying the clothes across the desk.

"He travels with Luffy."

"What?" Shanks took a step forward, an almost confused look on his face.

"He's part of Luffy's crew," reiterated the shichibukai.

The yonkou's face brightened.

"So he is special! I knew it!"

Mihawk finished with the clothes and turned to face his guest. Shanks was grinning a little too brightly for the swordsman's tastes.

"What about you? You never come to bother me unless you're depressed or elated. Somehow, I get the feeling it's not the latter."

Shanks' smile dimmed slightly.

"Aww, if you think I'm depressed, then why don't you cheer me up?"

"I'd rather not have to comfort you when I have other problems on my hands."

"C'mon, you don't mean that," responded the red-haired playfully.

"I do. Get out." The swordsman turned his back on him, crossing the room to stare out the window.

"Haaawky," Shanks groaned. "You know you're the only one I talk to when I'm sad."

"Out."

The red-haired man frowned and remained where he was, watching Mihawk as he gazed out the window. Silence gripped the room, as though the walls were holding their breath. As quietly as he could, Shanks tiptoed over to the shichibukai and stood behind him.

"I told you to leave, Shanks."

"And I told you to cheer me up." The yonkou inched his way closer to Mihawk, leaving next to no room in between them. Lightly, the red-haired man rested his forehead along the back of the swordsman's neck. "Please?" he asked, like a child begging for candy.

Mihawk suppressed a sigh. "What happened?"

"I buried Whitebeard. And Ace. And all of them."

Silence hovered in the air as the shichibukai thought.

"Why does that bother you? We are all fated to die, and Whitebeard was not so young that death wasn't on the horizon."

Shanks sighed.

"Yeah, but I didn't expect it. I mean, with Roger, we saw that coming from a mile away. But this... this was a lightning bolt." The yonkou lifted his head and rested it on Mihawk's shoulder. "I'm worried about Luffy."

"You know he's recovered, right?"

"That's not what I meant and you know it."

Again, the swordsman mused quietly.

"What do you want from me, then? Why not ask any of your men?"

"Because you cheer me up the best."

"I've already told you," Mihawk snapped, stepping forward and turning to face Shanks, "I'm not in the mood to entertain. I just told the man who's out to kill me that I'd teach him how to do it!"

The two men stared at each other, each trying to convey his needs to the other without downright begging. They were inches apart, breaths mingling while they kept their eyes locked on each other. Both were tense, winding up tighter and tighter—like springs.

Shanks sprung first, kissing Mihawk hard on the mouth and trapping the shichibukai with his single hand. Though jarred initially, the swordsman returned the kiss fervently, pushing the red-haired man back a little as he shuffled forward. Limbs tangled and entrapped as the two men fought to grasp each other. The shichibukai's hands gripped red strands of hair tightly, relentlessly tugging at Shanks' scalp.

As though a wedge had been pushed between them they broke apart, each man panting and staring at the other. Like an eagle, Mihawk's hand shot out, tugging at the yonkou's shirt until it had been removed and flung to the farthest corner of the room. Before he could remove any more, however, Shanks started to walk past the shichibukai, grabbing him by the hand and dragging him towards the dais. He smirked at the swordsman.

"Seems you need this more'n me, Hawky," he chuckled. Annoyance flashed across the shichibukai's face.

"You were the one who sought me out, Shanks. You came begging."

The smirk widened.

"Anyway..." the red-haired man murmured, snaking his fingers into Mihawk's pants. With a single finger he pulled the swordsman forward and gave him a light kiss on the lips. With ease, Shanks tugged the loose shirt free of the shichibukai's pants, whipping it over the man's head and tossing it aside with a flick of his wrist.

Again, they interlocked, groping at anything they could get their hands on. Mihawk had a firm command of the yonkou's mouth, wrestling fiercely with his tongue. Shanks' tight grip fluttered from skull to arm to back before finally clenching on the shichibukai's ass. The swordsman flinched, clawing the red-haired man's back in reply. As one unit they stumbled back and forth, doing a desperate dance to the music of heavy panting and beating hearts.

In their vehemence they tripped, landing among the over-abundance of pillows and blankets. The two men still grabbed at each other, trying to cling to one another as they wrestled back and forth. Without much thought, Shanks kicked off his boots, letting them thud to the ground just beyond the dais. The swordsman followed suit, clawing at the yonkou's pants as he did. With a final tug, Mihawk freed the red-haired man of his clothes, leaving them crumpled atop the boots.

"You know what I want, Dracule," Shanks murmured, leaning against the shichibukai and kissing lightly across his shoulders and neck. The swordsman shivered, mesmerized as he always was when his name was spoken like that. Gently he rolled over, leaning on his forearms and looking down into the yonkou's eyes.

"We both need this, don't we?" asked the swordsman, though he already knew the answer.

"Of course we do," Shanks replied with a grin, "I can't stand being depressed, and you can't stand kids." He pulled the shichibukai's head down with his one solid arm and kissed him, leisurely exploring his mouth. When he finally released Mihawk, he said, "Besides, the war took its toll on everyone."

The swordsman said nothing. Instead he kissed Shanks again, on the cheek. In response, the red-haired man leaned his head back, eyes half closed. Taking the invitation, Mihawk kissed lower, descending the other man's neck and working his way across the broad chest.

Shanks chuckled, and the swordsman looked up.

"What?"

"Tickles."

Mihawk shook his head, but a small smile was on his lips.

"You never grew up, did you?"

"Did I have to?"

The shichibukai thought a moment.

"No."

Again, the yonkou chuckled.

Mihawk resumed his kisses, gliding over the familiar torso as it twitched in laughter. He bypassed the red-haired man's crotch, aroused as it was, and continued down his thigh.

"Hawky, quit teasing," Shanks managed between laughs as the shichibukai played with his feet. The swordsman looked up, his golden eyes glimmering playfully. The yonkou pouted at him. "My fledgling's being mean to me."

Mihawk merely chuckled in response.

A single finger traced up the red-haired man's leg, gliding along the inside of his thigh. Shivering in excitement, Shanks' legs opened wider and his hips inclined ever so slightly. The swordsman's hand skated just past his partner's erection, and the latter groaned.

"C'mon, Hawky, why're you bullying me?"

"Because you came here at a bad time," Mihawk responded, "Why should I play nice?"

"Don't be like that. I'll make you feel better too."

The shichibukai's fingertips departed abruptly from the other man's skin.

"I highly doubt that's what I need right now."

Shanks sat up, his face darkened by annoyance.

"Fuck what you need. Go with what you want. What I want."

"It always comes back to you, doesn't it?"

The yonkou sighed angrily.

"Look, the reason I came here was 'cause I needed to get away from all that death. You ever buried people? Young people? It makes you wonder—when the fuck am I gonna bite it?" Shanks shook his head. "I could give a shit less about myself when I die. I've never considered my life—or death—worthless so long as I went out like a man. But this? Fuck, what would happen to my men if I died? What would happen to Luffy? I owe it to them to live, not myself."

The red-haired man glared at the shichibukai, fighting off the rising temptation to just subdue him with haki. Golden eyes stared back, solid.

"What makes you think I can help?" Mihawk asked quietly, "You are not the only one here who has seen death recently, and you are certainly not the only one dealing with his mortality!"

Shanks' eyebrows raised in surprised.

"You really think he's gonna make it, don't you?"

In response, the shichibukai looked the yonkou in the eye. For a moment, the red-haired man thought, looking past the man in front of him. Then something dawned on him, something so key he was surprised he had missed it before.

"Damn kids are just like us!" Shanks cried before laughing. He looked at Mihawk, who seemed doubtful. "Ah, Hawky, you don't see it? They're curious, adventurous, cocky as hell—don't say you aren't—and they're bold. It's like we've been reincarnated!"

"And what will this do for us beyond making us obsolete?"

"We mold them!" The yonkou slapped his hand down on the shichibukai's shoulder, "We raise them, like our own kids! Instill them with the knowledge and ideals they should have."

"Like you were ever fit to be a parent."

"Are you saying that because of Luffy?"

"Yes."

"Dammit Mihawk, that's not fair!" Shanks pouted at the swordsman, withdrawing his arm and sticking his tongue out. Mihawk cocked an eyebrow.

"If you do plan on raising children," the shichibukai mused after a while, "you would have to make them first."

"And how would you suggest I do that?" responded the yonkou.

"Well, if they're already here..." The swordsman pushed Shanks slowly back among the pillows, kissing him deeply as he did so. The red-haired man smiled into the kiss, his hand gripping the back of his partner's neck. They parted slowly, each keeping a lock on the other's eyes as Mihawk leisurely kissed his way down Shanks' body.

The yonkou's erection quivered slightly as fingertips feathered across it, running from base to tip. Heat radiated from Shanks' body like light from the sun. The energy was alluring, so much so that the shichibukai couldn't separate himself from it by teasing any more. His mouth enclosed around the member, sucking lightly just around the tip as his tongue played along the taught head. The red-haired man moaned, clutching and clinging to the swordsman's scalp.

"More," he groaned, trying to push himself deeper. Mihawk jerked his head back, not completely willing to give up the taunts. His tongue flicked out like a lizard's, just enough to tease.

"Haaaaaawky, c'mon." Again, Shanks tried to quit the subtlety, tried to get his satisfaction, but the shichibukai was just as stubborn about withholding it. The yonkou's face set, ruddy and shining with sweat.

"Dracule," he murmured, "Give me what I want."

Fingers clenched in Mihawk's short hair as he changed his pace. Taunts were gone, replaced by a desire to please the one man the shichibukai considered an equal. The swordsman's hands—the true tools of his trade—joined his working mouth and tongue and caressed the yonkou's scrotum. Gradually, the red-haired man's breath grew jagged and the heat from him intensified like the summer sun. A fine coat of sweat enveloped him, and he could feel his stomach starting to drop.

Even after Shanks had cum, Mihawk continued sucking until everything was out. He swallowed, his partner's cock still in his mouth, and removed himself slowly, licking the shaft from base to head. The shichibukai sat up and ran his own hand through his hair, while his feet rested off of the dais. Slowly, the yonkou propped himself up on his elbow, eying the swordsman.

"You aren't finished, Dracule," he intoned. "Come here."

Mihawk obeyed, crawling until he sat next to Shanks. The red-haired man caught his gaze, lifting himself up and slithering his hand down the shichibukai's pants as he kissed him. His single hand grasped the swordsman's dick, hard as it was, and rubbed against it vigorously, making it slick with its own precum. Mihawk moaned into Shanks' mouth while those golden eyes half-hid themselves behind his eyelids. With nimble fingers, the yonkou removed his partner's pants and laying him on his back..

"You know I love you, right?" Shanks muttered.

"I wouldn't have guessed, with how much you bother me," Mihawk replied.

The yonkou chuckled.

"I don't bother people I don't care about."

Carefully, the red-haired man climbed between his partner's legs and lowered himself onto the shichibukai. A moan escaped from the yonkou as he slid the swordsman deeper inside. Shanks' one hand planted itself in the dead center of Mihawk's chest, and the yonkou began to move. Grunts emanated from the shichibukai's throat, the rumblings of them felt in the red-haired man's fingertips. His head was back among the pillows, his eyelids dancing up and down.

Shanks cried out in ecstasy as the shichibukai's cock struck a sweet spot in him, howling in pleasure to god as he hit that sensation again and again. Both men were moving, their familiarity with each other allowing each of them to shift in ways that sparked the other. Pants and grunts filled the air, along with a thumping against cloth. The song of sex moved faster, gaining pitch as it gained speed.

"Dracule," Shanks managed to moan, dragging the name out until the shichibukai filled him completely. The surging heat, like a searing brand, shot the yonkou over the edge. Cum splattered across the panting, sweating swordsman's chest as the red-haired man let out a long, satisfied sigh.

With one final moan that lingered somewhere between disappointment and pleasure, Shanks slid off of Mihawk and rolled over, curling up against the shichibukai's chest. The yonkou yawned.

"I'm taking a nap, Hawky," he muttered, grabbing one of the swordsman's legs with his own.

"And you're not going to let me deal with more pressing errands, are you?"

"Nope."

Mihawk sighed, mentally and physically settling himself. From the pile he grabbed one of the blankets that had been disheveled during the sensual battle and fluttered it over the both of them.

As the sun began to sink into the view of the bay windows, the shichibukai found himself starting to doze off. Quickly, he shook the droplets of sleep off like a dog does water. Golden eyes gazed at the sleeping countenance of the red-haired man. Gently, the swordsman traced his finger over the scars marring the yonkou's face.

"You don't hate me or anything, right Hawky?"

The shichibukai's eyebrows raised.

"No, I don't hate you."

Shanks' eyes opened, and he stared into Mihawk's golden ones.

"Then do you love me?"

"Where in the world is this question even coming from?"

The yonkou thought a moment.

"I'd rather not be fucking someone who doesn't love me."

"Then why did you instigate this relationship? After every time I came to you, asking for death matches, you wanted in my pants. Most people would not be attracted to their would-be murderers."

The red-haired man shook his head. "You're bold, Hawky, and I love that about you."

Mihawk sighed, letting his arm that wasn't pinned under the other man lightly massage his forehead.

"You only just ask this question after we've had sex over the last twenty or so years?"

Shanks gave a weak, almost melancholy smile.

"You had me worried when you left during the war. I thought you didn't want to see me."

The shichibukai's hand stopped.

"I left because I didn't want to fight you."

Quietly, the yonkou nudged the swordsman's hand out of the way with his face. He kissed Mihawk passionately but sweetly, exploring his mouth and gazing into his golden eyes intently.

"I love you too," murmured Shanks.

"Don't misunderstand," retorted the shichibukai, "I didn't want to fight you because I don't fight one-armed has-beens."

The yonkou grinned.

"You're not so great I can't top you with only one arm."

"Would you bet on that?"

"Damn straight," Shanks growled playfully, shifting his weight to try and topple the swordsman. Like a lightning bolt, Mihawk's free hand shot out behind him, burying itself in a pillow. Again, the yonkou swung his weight into the shichibukai, and this time the golden-eyed man flattened on his back, the pillow that had doomed him having flown off the dais somewhere.

Shanks let out a cry of triumph, but was quickly bucked off and onto his back. The two struggled with each other, trying to gain dominance as they tumbled, bit, and grabbed. Pillows fled before them, and blankets flattened themselves to the dais. Finally, the swordsman came out on top, sitting on the yonkou's chest and pinning the man's single, powerful arm with both of his.

"You've lost your bet," Mihawk commented, a smirk on his face. Shanks grinned.

"I've still got a few tricks I haven't used in the bedroom before."

Pain flashed through the shichibukai's head, staggering him. In an instant, the red-haired man had him flipped over and was peering into his face as the yonkou pinned the swordsman with his knees.

"That's cheap," rumbled Mihawk. "Using haki like that."

Shanks shrugged.

"I figured if I could use it on the battlefield, I could use it here."

The shichibukai frowned.

"Would you like me to fetch Yoru then and see how you fare?"

Laughing, the red-haired man shook his head.

"Naw," he said, "I'm good." Shanks' eyes traveled over the swordsman's skin. "However, while I'm up here..." The yonkou let the sentence fade into the air as he shuffled backwards. Mihawk cocked an eyebrow.

"What makes you think I'll let you have your way?"

A low chuckle emanated from the red-haired man, and in an instant he was nose-to-nose with the shichibukai.

"Because you haven't managed to stop me yet."

With a quick peck on the lips, Shanks withdrew and positioned himself to straddle Mihawk. Before the swordsman could do anything, the yonkou's single hand played along his cock, rousing it with skilled fingers. A low, almost inaudible groan was dragged from the depths of the shichibukai's throat. The red-haired man grinned.

"Enjoying yourself, my cute little fledgling?"

Mihawk managed to raise his head enough to glare at Shanks.

"I am not cute."

"Sure you aren't."

The dick in the yonkou's hand was leaking precum in erratic spurts. Just as the shichibukai felt himself nearing his breaking point, however, Shanks' hand relocated its efforts. Nimble fingers wormed their way into the swordsman's ass, moving in ways the yonkou knew got to him. Again, Mihawk felt orgasm threatening to creep over him, but once more the red-haired man ceased his caresses. The golden-eyed man clutched what bedclothes were left in frustration.

"Hurry up," he growled, glaring at the ceiling.

"What's the magic word, Hawky?"

"Now!"

Shanks chuckled, guiding his hardened dick to the pulsating hole that begged to be filled. The tip waited at the entrance and moved no further. Claws dug deeper into cloth.

"I love you, Dracule."

Flesh and flesh met, one pushing its way through the other. Mihawk's teeth clenched and his nostrils flared as the familiar feel of the yonkou's penis burrowed into his anus. Shanks moaned as he worked his way in deeper, the pleasure of familiarity clamping around his dick and radiating out from his groin.

"Move already," the swordsman hissed.

"What's gotten into you?" the red-haired man asked playfully. "You're antsy."

The shichibukai shot him a glare.

"One of my unwanted house guests has."

Shanks laughed.

"But you'd rather it be me than anyone else." He pulled out slightly, and air hissed out of the swordsman's clenched teeth. "No one else needs to see you begging like this."

"I haven't begged."

"Sure you haven't."

He pulled back more before pushing again, building his momentum. All over the shichibukai's body there was the sheen of sweat, and his breaths shuddered as he took them. The two men built the tempo together, moving into each other with the ease of practice. Long, low groans were issued from the golden-eyed man while high shouts and whoops came from his partner.

With a moan of satisfaction, Mihawk came. His entire body shuddered and clenched before easing into release. Shanks kept moving, driving himself to his point of climax. The shichibukai moved with him, controlling the muscles as he could to encourage the red-haired man. Finally, the yonkou came as well, screeching for god and calling for more. Spent, he leaned forward and rested his head against Mihawk's chest.

"We need to do this more often," he commented in between pants.

The shichibukai thought a moment before responding.

"Perhaps we do."

Shanks perked up.

"You mean it?"

"I said perhaps."

The yonkou kissed his lover on the mouth.

"You've got no idea how happy that makes me."

"I can guess. Now, if you don't mind, I actually do have other guests to attend to."

Shanks propped himself up hastily.

"Ah, sorry Hawky. You know how I get carried away."

Slowly, the red-haired man pulled out of the shichibukai, tracing a finger down the man's thigh as he did so. He rose, stepping off of the dais and heading to a small side-door which led to the bathroom.

"I'm gonna take a shower and head out, Hawky," he called, passing into the other room.

Mihawk sat up, raising one eyebrow at the door his lover had disappeared behind.

"You're not staying the night?"

Shanks popped his head out the door and grinned.

"Aw, my fledgling misses me, and I'm not even gone yet!"

"I don't miss you," grumbled the shichibukai, a light streak of red crossing his countenance.

"Sure you don't."

Slowly, the swordsman dressed himself, stalling until the yonkou emerged dripping from the bathroom. The red-haired man raised an eyebrow.

"You're still here?"

"Yes, I had something to tell you."

Shank's face brightened.

"Really?"

"Lock the door on your way out."

The yonkou's face dropped like a kicked puppy.

In two strides, Mihawk was face-to-face with Shanks, and had taken full command of the latter's mouth. They kissed deeply—though briefly—and just as quickly the swordsman had the door in his hand.

"Also," he mumbled, "I... love you."

Quietly, the door clicked shut.

As Shanks stood, naked and wet in the dimming room, he chuckled lightly to himself.

"Aw, my fledgling forgot how he was the one who captured me." He shrugged. "Doesn't matter now, though."

The captain of the Red-Haired pirates dressed himself, and under cover of night, began the journey back to his men.


AN: This story idea stemmed from a conversation my beta Rhov (thank her all of you! She helped me make this all nice and pretty so you aren't reading crap!) and I had after I reviewed her piece Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash. It was an interesting conversation, about the subtler points of the ShaMi relationship, and mention of the red-tailed hawk popped up (the birds are prevalent in my area, and whenever I think of Mihawk with one of his namesakes, I always picture a red-tail). Yay, birdies inspiring yaoi.

Apparently, many things popped up to delay this piece, foremost: I have been caught by Friendship is Magic. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I can at least say I've watched the old MLP movie before hand (nothing can stop the smooze!) so I'm in the clear. Shame on me for not being a product of the eighties! On a more serious note, finals. I am free of school for the summer, so stuff should pick up (should, not necessarily will. You still have to fight with friends, family, and WoW for my attention).

Anyway, about the actual story:

I really enjoyed writing this. I was a little worried about introducing myself to Shanks, but he and I seem to hit it off. I loved working with him, and perhaps he'll pop up more in my stories! Also, to Shanks' credit, he really is the only person who can get away with calling Mihawk 'Dracule' on a fairly regular basis. Zoro could too, but he's too used to 'Mihawk'. (And for that matter, Mihawk doesn't really have any pet names for Shanks...)

I also really like the reflection of LuZo and ShaMi (another concept that came up while talking with my beta), and though I couldn't quite show that in this piece, I'm happy I could at least allude to it. Along that note, there's also an old idea that women held the key to immortality because they can give birth (so suck it, guys!), and though I didn't make that obvious, again, I'm glad I could allude to it (only reason it's in my AN is because I don't think many people are familiar with the concept).

Still, my favorite scene of this piece is Mihawk pinning Shanks' lone arm. (Short, sweet, and completely awesome!)

Damn, I'm chatty today. Anyhoo, hope you all enjoyed. If you've got any qualms with anything in this piece, feel free to lemme know. Short comments saying you like a piece are delightful, but insubstantial, like a Snickers. I enjoy them, but I always prefer the longer, more detailed comments that make me actually have to look back through my work. Please make me a happier raptor if time permits: give me a meaty response (food, NOT genitalia!) that I can chew at instead of just a tidbit.

As I Am,

~Lady Spritzy

Posted 24 May 2012